I have had moments when I think I've conquered it all and moments when I have felt that I have done nothing but move backward. Today, in many ways, is one of those moments. In the last six months, I've gained 15 pounds. In the last month, maybe two, I've been consistently in the 300s.
I've deleted that statement three times -- but it is my truth and all of you must know. I must say it, own it. It is real.
I try to down play it. But my heart is pumping like I've run a marathon. I'm filled with emotion. But here's why I'm doing this -- again -- because I deserve to be honest without shame. My readers, most of whom are my dear, sweet friends deserve to know the my truth as well.
I know this is not supposed to be about the numbers. The numbers on the scale, the numbers on the tag -- but the numbers are imprinted on my head and speaking my truth is the ONLY way to erase those numbers.
I know that my struggle with self acceptance is tied deeply into filling that void--Everyone has a void inside them. How you fill that void is, really, what defines who you are and what you do with yourself -- yourlife.
While other people are addicted to drugs and alcohol -- food. I am addicted to volunteering -- to event planning -- to staying so involved in things outside of my life, I don't have time to look in the mirror and answer that defining question: Who am I? and then, Am I ok?
In reality, I either don't know the answers to those questions or I'm afraid I'll have to answer no.
Even now as I write this, I'm fighting the urge to check my e-mail or Facebook -- distraction away from material that I find incredibly painful.
At times in my life I've filled that void with alcohol, food -- perhaps even sex. These days I have filled it with busy-ness. Part of me likes to believe that I'm using my God-given talents to make the world a better place and often I'm lost in that. This serves a higher purpose, I tell myself and others -- I'm doing a good work -- give me a break. I'm too busy to walk or eat right -- I'm doing good work -- I'm giving back -- I'm make a difference in someone's life. It doesn't really matter how I feel or what I look like, for Pete's sake -- I'm an activist, a leader in my community.
The reality is that activism starts at home and home is defined by its first meaning -- home is me -- my soul.
I have spent the bulk of my adulthood nuturing, feeding and caring for every one and everything but me - anything but my soul -- my heart -- my home.
So lately, I've been thinking about what it is that truly nutures and feeds my soul. I know, from experience that it's certainly not food, or self pity. It's not volunteering for every committee, every role I can play other than the reflection in my mirror -- the star of my own show.
I know that my truth lies in creativity -- in writing -- sharing my truth with others as a way to heal both myself and others. I know I must create to live. I run from this so very often -- thinking that it's not worthy. That I must produce something to be worthy. That I must achieve and accomplish in order to be deserving of love and happiness.
My truth is, that it works in reverse. I am deserving of love and happiness because I exist. I must create art and write as a means of feeding my soul what it craves the most.
My error in thinking all these years is that I must produce and achieve in order to deserve the time it take it takes to create -- to do the things that bring me joy.
Of all the obstacles I've had to overcome in the last few years, this is the myth that is hardest to erase from my mind.
Myth: I don't deserve joy until I've earned it by achieving something measured outside of myself.
Truth: By pursuing joy and filling my senses with the love of creativity and writing -- achievement will follow in it's place -- and also bring me peace and joy.
Imagine the freedom in that thought.
So today I give myself permission to pursue joy first -- and welcome the rest to follow.